For six months, Mexicomatters’ newsletter has been dormant. Devoting my time to finishing my book – “The U.S. and Mexico Joined At The Groin” that will be available December 2011 via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kindle. Also, I have been devoting a lot of time to our tequila distillery in Autlan, Jalisco, birthplace of Carlos Santana. Yes, that is correct, your homeboy, LeRoy Jose Amate is now in the tequila business. Casta Negra is the brand and it will be available November 10, 2011. The following article is about one of our clients in Las Vegas – the Fleur Restaurant. Dinner at Fleur was an extraordinary dining experience. And, since most of my readers travel to Vegas as well as Mexico, I wanted to share this wonderful adventure in eating – provecho. Don’t forget to order Casta Negra Tequila.
Dining does not get any better or surprising!
As a teenage entrepreneur, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was lucky enough to earn what my father earned while I was still in high school. This afforded me my favorite hobby at an early age. Eating in great restaurants. My high school sweetheart shared my passion for eating “high cuisine”. Her Italian family were pioneers in San Francisco’s best respected North Beach eateries. My family immigrated from Spain. Food and wine were celebrated every day. Saffron was mailed to us in kilos from my aunt in Spain. How else can a Spaniard truly enjoy his rice?
Both my grandfathers were wine makers and everything we ate or drank was grown in our garden and orchard or produced from our livestock: Milk and cheese from our goats. Meat from our rabbits, and chickens. And, what we did not raise we killed: pigs, venison, squab, duck and pheasant. Great food for me and my girl were a must. Cultural heritage, unknown to our Anglo friends .
While our friends ate hamburgers at the local drive in, we were dining on French, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Creole inspired cuisine in San Francisco’s best restaurants. We sought flavors that were distinct from the Italian and Spanish foods we were privileged to enjoy at home.
The most notable cuisine was from our favorite San Francisco restaurant in the 1950’s – Fleur de Lys. This restaurant is a San Francisco landmark. Still earning rave reviews as a result of Hubert Keller taking the helm of the “Frisco” institution in 1986. Fleur de Lys has been ranked as one of the top 40 restaurants in the United States by Gayot restaurant guide, and was awarded a Michelin star in 2006. Fleur de Lys has also been ranked as one of the top 25 restaurants in the United States by Food & Wine magazine.
Keller, who was born in Alsace, France and graduated from the Ecole Hoteliere in Strasbourg, has worked in restaurants around the world . His knowledge of other cuisines, aside from French, inspired his latest, highly acclaimed restaurant – Fleur, in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. Small portions (tapas) are the rule at fleur. Keller adds his own incredibly creative talent to classic dishes from Spain, Northern Africa, France, Brazil, Italy and Asia. Unique “out of the box” creations that surprise even the most sophisticated of gourmets.
I was recently treated to an incredible feast at fleur, thanks to General Manager Dave Oseas, who delighted and surprised us with wonderful menu items. Two of my favorite ingredients from France – foie gras and shaved truffles assured me I was in for a reborn Fleur de Lys quality supper. One of the dishes, my companions and I particularly enjoyed, were the pork ribs glazed with maple syrup. A high tech kitchen method literally shoots smoke into the ribs and the smoky flavor is captured and released from a custom made serving dish at tableside. Ribs have never been prepared or presented better. Smoky, juicy and so damn flavorful, my mouth waters thinking about them
If oysters are on the menu – I cannot resist. Never have I enjoyed, or been as surprised, by an oyster dish. Kushi oysters are prepared in a Margarita and orange sorbet sauce, prepared at the table with liquid nitrogen. Other surprises included the American classic of macaroni and cheese. But, not your mommas mac & cheese. She probably did not add lobster bisque with brunoise vegetable. An Argentine classic skirt steak called chimi chui is good enough to cause a Gaucho to move from the pampas to Las Vegas.
For desert I recommend some of the following: crème brulée trio, cantaloupe martini,
cheesecake lollipops, or the chateau soufflé.
The circular bar, at the entrance to the restaurant, creates an informal and friendly ambiance that stimulates conversation. Especially, since the restaurant stocks the largest selection of absinthe in the Western United States. Also, frozen cocktails with liquid nitrogen makes the spontaneous bar parties inevitable. For privacy, cabaña tables surround the main dining room. Intimate dining for lovers makes the Vegas’, “what happens-stays in Vegas” a prophecy fulfilled.
“Knock yourself out at fleur”. A true dining adventure. A claim made by many restaurants. However, at fleur it is an incredible understatement. A gastronomical bargain at $50-65.00 per person.
Call for reservations: Lunch-11am to 3pm
Dinner 5pm to 11pm
Phone 702 632 9400